Yes, this is BaltimoreBaseball.com.
Not nationalbaseball.com. Or YankeesBaseball.com.
So maybe you don’t want to see Alex Rodriguez’s mug on the front of the site today.
The New York Yankees announced that their enigmatic and controversial star will be retiring Friday and joining the organization in a special advisor role.
So why should Orioles’ fans care that ARod is hanging it up, except for the fact that they’ll have one less opposing player to boo in 2017 (Boston’s David Ortiz and the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira are also retiring before next season)?
Because ARod has special historical significance versus the Orioles – sort of anyway. Or at least I think he does.
Rodriguez is the all-time leader in opposition homers at Camden Yards with 34. That’s undisputed.
He also has hit more regular season homers against the Orioles than any other opposing player in modern club history, but will forever be tied for most homers against the Orioles overall.
This gets a little tricky.
Here’s the rub: Hall-of-Famer Harmon Killebrew is the all-time leading home run hitter versus the Orioles with 70, according to the Orioles’ 2016 media guide. That fact has been in there a long time.
Baseball-reference.com, however, lists Killebrew with 68 homers versus the Orioles in his career stats. That’s because the site doesn’t count postseason stats in its personal pages, and “Killer” had two homers in the playoffs versus the Orioles – for a total of 70.
Rodriguez is listed by baseball-reference.com as having 69 career homers against the Orioles in 255 games. But that presumably doesn’t count one he hit against them in the playoffs.
So, if the Orioles count Killebrew’s 70, they should count Rodriguez’s 70 also, meaning that ARod will retire sharing the label as the greatest power hitter versus the Orioles in team history. He’ll presumably get his name in the Orioles’ 2017 media guide a second time.
I’ll let all of you decide whether an asterisk – for whatever reason – should be included there.